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Film National Film Board of Canada appoints 11-year veteran Claude Joli-Coeur as new chair

Claude Joli-Coeur.

Panneton-Valcourt

The new chair of the National Film Board of Canada is an old hand at the agency, after the federal government on Tuesday tapped Claude Joli-Coeur, an 11-year veteran, to lead the NFB after a period of tumult.

Joli-Coeur, who joined the NFB in 2003 and became assistant commissioner in 2007, has served as interim Government Film Commissioner and chair of the NFB since taking over in January following the sudden departure of Tom Perlmutter.

Under Perlmutter, the NFB had moved quickly into creating digital content and digitizing its archives, enabling Canadians easier access to its decades worth of documentaries, animated films and other works. But shortly into his second five-year term, Perlmutter stepped aside last year after questions of conflict-of-interest arose over his personal relationship with Ravida Din, the woman he had appointed as director-general of English-language production. While Din was highly regarded, Perlmutter reportedly stepped down last December, taking a role as a consultant to the board, to quell any potential controversy; both he and Din subsequently resigned from the NFB on the same day last February.

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The shakeup left the NFB without the man who had outlined a bold new vision for its future.

Joli-Coeur is a lawyer by training whose experience includes business affairs positions at TVA International Inc., Zone 3 Inc., and Astral Entertainment Group, as well as a stint as legal counsel at Telefilm Canada.

In a statement, the Minister of Heritage praised Joli-Coeur's appointment. "It is a great asset to have a person of Mr. Joli-Coeur's calibre leading this organization," said Shelly Glover. "With his expertise, proven leadership and numerous contributions during his last 11 years at the National Film Board, he will continue to be highly valuable to the organization."

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